Jenna was spotted attending an LA Kings game with some friends earlier today!
As part of my plans for the Glee hiatus (make this site as complete as possible!), I’ve added over 3000 screencaps, stills, and promotional photos of Jenna in Glee’s fourth season! Seasons 1-3 will be coming soon
[all caps via screencapped.net]
Is happiness something that happens to you, or something that you make happen for yourself? If you ask “Glee’s” Jenna Ushkowitz that question, she’ll tell you it’s the latter.
In fact, she’s written the book on finding your own glee through the power of self-affirmation and positive thinking. “Choosing Glee: 10 Rules to Finding Inspiration, Happiness, and the Real You” is part memoir, part self-help tome, and all motivational. Written through anecdotal vignettes, personal photos, lists and charts, “Choosing Glee” is Ushkowitz’ way of giving back to the world, putting out positivity as a means of reaping more good vibes. “I like to think that positivity is a choice, and you wake up and make a conscious decision,” says the 27-year-old actress. And though she admits, “I’ve never been through any really dark times where I hit rock bottom,” she seems to know what she’s talking about.
So, what’s this book really about?
It’s 10 rules that I live by, to success, to where I’ve gotten, where I am. I just wanted to share that with my fans and readers. You know, to tell them that it’s something you can choose to believe in every day. It’s like your mantra. You know, there are like people who feel that they’re the victim and it’s always happening to them? You can turn that around, and change your outlook on life, and it really makes life a little bit brighter.
Have you always thought this way?
Yeah, I think I’ve always been this way. You could say I was born this way, but I also think I owe it to my parents teaching me to have a good head on my shoulders, and rely on my support system, and always stay true to who you are.
But what about somebody who wasn’t born that way?
Well, again, it’s making it a choice. You make it a choice, and every day you wake up and make it your mantra and say today I’m going to make the best of every situation and look at every situation with the glass half full. And then, after awhile, it sort of becomes subconscious and it becomes a way of life. It’s a lifestyle change, it’s like a diet. People always say, oh, I’m going to diet for this amount of time — well, it’s actually a lifestyle change you need to make.
Can you think of a recent situation where you had to make that choice?
Sure, I mean there was a time in the industry where I did a pilot — my belief is that everything happens for a reason — so I was doing this pilot and it got picked up, and I was all excited, and then I got this phone call that they actually weren’t going to pick me up, that they were going to recast me. And the first thing I thought was, ‘Oh, well, I’m not a good actor; I’m fat, I’m ugly, they hate me!’ (laughs) And then you turn around and say, you know what? It wasn’t me, it wasn’t meant to be, and actually it turned out that the reason was that I was a little too young. But you still believe, Oh, they’re lying,’ so I went to my friends and we vegged out and did our thing, it’s like a breakup. But then you get over it. And I then went on to book “Spring Awakening,” and then “Glee,” and wouldn’t have finished college. So you have to look at it like, well, I wouldn’t have been able to experience those things.
So you’re obviously a big believer in karma.
Oh yeah, 100 percent. Everything happens for a reason and I believe in karma. I believe that what you give to the world — the energy that you give to the world — is what you get back. And it will come back to you if you’re not good to it. (laughs)
If anyone should read Jenna Ushkowitz’s new book, “Choosing Glee: 10 Rules to Finding Inspiration, Happiness and the Real You,” it’s Tina Cohen-Chang.
After all, Ushkowitz’s character graduated this past season. And Tina’s future after William McKinley High School is unclear.
Ushkowitz herself could likely use a dose of her own prescription for facing life’s challenges, since like her character, she has a somewhat uncertain future. With Tina about to graduate, her role on the show could be significantly reduced.
“It’s very possible. It’s happened to half my cast,” says the 27-year-old “Glee” actress. “It’s the way the show has to go on to live and survive.”
While Lea Michele and Chris Colfer’s story arcs took their characters to New York, other members of the New Directions glee club saw their episode count drop dramatically.
Their screen time was usurped by cast members who arrived last season to fill the school group’s vacancies. Ushkowitz admits she wasn’t immediately welcoming.
“With the new kids, it was like getting a whole new family. One wiping the other out,” says Ushkowitz. “My walls are pretty thick. Getting through to me takes a bit of warming up.
“They are great friends of mine now.”
Ushkowitz says the original cast went through so much together that they grew particularly tight. In 2009, the weekly musical dramedy set in an Ohio high school looked like a real long shot. But “Glee” became a phenomenon, and its cast of young hopefuls became stars overnight.
Along with that came heavy demands and attention.“When you go through all those ups and downs every which way, you really keep that bond because no one understands what that was like,” says Ushkowitz.
Ushkowitz didn’t see it coming. She didn’t even expect to make it onto the show after blowing her audition. Tina had two lines, and Ushkowitz forgot one.
“It was like any other audition and nothing about it really fazed me,” Ushkowitz recalls. “But I walked out of there and said, ‘Forget it. I didn’t get that one.’ ”
Still, Ryan Murphy, the show’s creator, saw something and called her back. At the time, Ushkowitz was a swing player in the Broadway hit “Spring Awakening.” One of the show’s stars, Lea Michele, already had been cast in the Fox show.
She and Michele first became friends in 1995 when Ushkowitz was in “The King and I” on Broadway and Michele was playing Young Cosette in “Les Miserables.” The community of kids on Broadway is small, and they crossed at auditions all the time.
But friendships are hard to sustain with school and performing schedules. Ushkowitz’s father, Brad, bought a mini-van so his child star could nap after her nightly gig in “The King and I” on the way home to East Meadows, L.I.
She was adopted from Seoul, Korea, when she was 3 months old. At 3 years, she started pestering her parents to be on TV and scored work in commercials. She was one of the adorable Jell-O Jigglers with Bill Cosby and appeared semi-regularly on “Sesame Street.”
In “Choosing Glee,” written with Sheryl Berk, she covers all the traumas associated with middle school and high school, including peer pressure and bullying.
But it wasn’t until Ushkowitz moved to New York City on her own at 18 to attend the prestigious Marymount Manhattan that Ushkowitz had trouble balancing her professional and academic lives. At the time she was hosting “Yankees on Deck,” a TV show for kids, and found courses like “Quantitative Reasoning and Science” demanding but hardly useful.
“I would be on my knees in the middle of a New York street crying because it was so hard. I almost dropped out three or four times,” she recalls. “I think I’m the only member of the original cast who got a college degree.”
“Choosing Glee” presents a roster of confidence and happiness boosting approaches to life. Ushkowitz also tackles problem-solving, writing about how she ended a two-year relationship with a bad boyfriend she won’t name.
“I was completely verbally abused. It was just wrong,” she says. Ushowitz has been seeing actor Michael Trevino of “Vampire Diaries” on CW for three years now, but won’t divulge details.
Another problem she worked to solve was Tina’s relatively low profile on the series. Ushkowitz spoke to the show’s producers and writers, pitching story lines that would showcase Tina.
“You have to stand up for what you believe in, but you’re dealing with your bosses. It’s tricky,” she says. “The story lines I pitched didn’t make it in, but they heard me.
Ushkowitz feels that in the past season Tina emerged as a “competent diva.” She also stirred up some controversy in what’s come to be known as the “vapo-rape scene.” In it, Tina straddled an unconscious, and gay, Blaine (Darren Criss), smeared him with VapoRub and obviously considered taking things where they shouldn’t go.
“It was harder to read it than to shoot it,” she says. “We giggled a lot.”
The show starts shooting for next season in July and Ushkowitz is preparing herself by not preparing herself.
“At least I know I’ve got season five,” she says. “I don’t know what the future is for Tina. I really don’t want to think about it because it makes me so sad.”
Graduation is always bittersweet.
I’ve added eight HQ photos of Jenna attending an after party to celebrate her Glee co-star Jane Lynch’s opening night in the musical Annie.
Jenna’s been super busy promoting Choosing Glee today, so there’s a lot of photos! Around 200 HQ photos have been added
Choosing Glee will speak to the show's demographic who are often coping with the very stresses and anxieties the teenage characters on Glee face. Think The Happiness Project for a younger generation: With its uplifting message and intimate format, teens can learn how, exactly, to choose glee. Available May 14, 2013